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Former Alta. Liberal leader now ag critic

The Alberta Liberals’ new leader David Swann has named his predecessor, Edmonton-Riverview MLA Kevin Taft, as the official opposition’s agriculture critic.

Taft, who announced in June last year he would step down as leader and did not run in last month’s leadership contest, will now also handle the shadow portfolios for energy, aboriginal affairs and rural development.

As ag critic, Taft replaces Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA Hugh MacDonald, who Swann has shuffled to the critic positions on public accounts, advanced education and technology, employment and immigration, and infrastructure.

Taft, an MLA since 2001 and the official opposition leader from 2004 to 2008, has a Ph.D. in business and was previously a public policy analyst operating his own Edmonton-based consultancy.

“Our caucus will continue to make sure that the many diverse voices of Albertans are heard,” Swann said in a release Wednesday. “We are looking forward to a session where we will vigorously press for economic diversification and oppose privatized health care.”

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